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Thursday, 18 May 2017

MIDEAST STOCKS-MSCI shares pose main drag on Gulf as global markets skid | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-MSCI shares pose main drag on Gulf as global markets skid | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Middle East most exposed to foreign fund flows followed global shares lower on Thursday, while the Saudi Arabian index, dominated by local investors, outperformed the region for the day and the week. Dubai's index lost 0.5 percent as most shares that are constituents of the MSCI emerging market index dropped. DXB Entertainments slumped 4.3 percent and Emaar Properties fell 0.8 percent. Members of the MSCI emerging market index were also weak in Abu Dhabi, with First Abu Dhabi Bank losing 0.4 percent and telecommunications operator Etisalat down 0.3 percent. The index closed 0.3 percent lower."



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Algeria Says Most Nations in OPEC Deal Back Nine-Month Extension - Bloomberg

Algeria Says Most Nations in OPEC Deal Back Nine-Month Extension - Bloomberg:

"Algeria, the African oil producer that was instrumental in crafting OPEC’s historic output deal last year, said most participating nations back a nine-month extension of the cuts. “Most of the countries support the proposition of Russia and Saudi Arabia to extend,” Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Boutarfa said Thursday in Moscow after talks with his Russian counterpart, Alexander Novak. Algeria also favors that course of action, and is “optimistic for an agreement,” he said. Signatories to a deal struck between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, late last year will meet May 25 in Vienna to discuss prolonging the supply curbs. Saudi Arabia and Russia said Monday they favor extending the agreement through the first quarter of 2018 to reduce bloated global inventories to the five-year average."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-MSCI EM constituents weigh on Gulf, Saudi flat ahead of Trump visit | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-MSCI EM constituents weigh on Gulf, Saudi flat ahead of Trump visit | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf most exposed to foreign fund flows followed global shares lower in early trade on Thursday, while the Saudi Arabian index, dominated by local investors, barely moved.

Dubai's index was down 0.5 percent as most shares that are constituents of the MSCI emerging market index dropped. DXB Entertainments lost 2.6 percent and Emaar Properties was down 0.9 percent.

Members of the MSCI emerging market index were also weak in Abu Dhabi, with First Abu Dhabi Bank and Aldar Properties each dropping 0.9 percent. The index was down 0.5 percent."



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Donald Trump Jr., Dubai Business Partner Discuss 'New Ideas' - Bloomberg

Donald Trump Jr., Dubai Business Partner Discuss 'New Ideas' - Bloomberg:

"Donald Trump Jr. traveled to Dubai and met a billionaire business partner in the city-state, discussing "new ideas" as the Emirati's real estate firm still lists possible plans for future joint projects while Trump's father is in the White House. The Trump Organization has said it won't make new foreign deals while Donald Trump serves as America's 45th president. That didn't affect the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai's opening in February , while a previously planned Trump-branded golf course designed by Tiger Woods is still being built nearby. Both projects are being built by Dubai's DAMAC Properties, owned by Emirati billionaire Hussain Sajwani. His company has paid the Trump Organization's subsidiaries between $1 million to $5 million for the projects, according to a U.S. Federal Election Committee report submitted in May."



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Kuwait Finance House Said to Weigh Buying Ahli United Local Unit - Bloomberg

Kuwait Finance House Said to Weigh Buying Ahli United Local Unit - Bloomberg:

"Kuwait Finance House KSCP is considering buying Ahli United Bank BSC’s Kuwaiti operations as it seeks to expand in the Persian Gulf state, according to people familiar with the matter.

KFH, as the lender is known, is working with a financial adviser on the talks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Discussions between the two banks are informal and Bahrain’s Ahli United isn’t running a formal sale process, the people said. There is no guarantee that a deal will take place and final agreements haven’t been reached with any of the parties, they said."



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Saudis Have a Red Carpet Ready for Trump, and a Steep Wish-List - Bloomberg

Saudis Have a Red Carpet Ready for Trump, and a Steep Wish-List - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia is putting on a show for Donald Trump on his first overseas trip as U.S. president. Muslim leaders will assemble in Riyadh, and there’ll be an exhibition of classic American cars as well as sports matches and concerts. An online clock counts down the seconds until the big day.

Behind the pageantry are high expectations that won’t be easy to meet.

Among Gulf leaders, enthusiasm for Trump -- who looks increasingly embattled at home -- is driven by the desire for a like-minded partner in the oil-rich kingdom’s struggle against Iran, its main Middle Eastern rival. That, to Saudi eyes, overrides his record of anti-Islamic rhetoric on the campaign trail, and his attempt to bar some Muslims from entering the U.S. once he took office."



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Saudis Expect Big Economic Boost From Trump Visit - Bloomberg

Saudis Expect Big Economic Boost From Trump Visit - Bloomberg:

"Saudi-U.S. ties have never been better. Saudi Arabia will be President Donald Trump's first stop in his first overseas tour. The Saudis have laid out a massive red carpet for Trump and his business delegation with multiple events. It’s emblematic of the importance the Saudis have bestowed on Trump and the rebirth of its relationship with the U.S. It’s not unusual for a U.S. president to visit Saudi Arabia -- President Barack Obama, who was viewed cautiously by Riyadh, came  more times than any of his predecessors. It is, however, a first for a U.S. president to be visiting the kingdom on his maiden trip. Business comes first. Bilateral trade between the two nations is strong, amounting to almost $40 billion in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In fact, last year was the first time in 21 years the U.S. sustained a trade surplus with Saudi Arabia, mainly due to lower oil prices. Oil plays just one part in the relationship. Saudi Arabia was supplanted by Canada in 2006 as the largest supplier of crude to the U.S., and provided 1.1 million barrels per day in 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration. For Trump, Saudi Arabia is a long-term business partner offering enormous potential for U.S. companies as the Middle East nation prepares for its post-oil future. Attracting U.S. investment is vital for its foreign-direct investment programs and successful implementation of Saudi Vision 2030. Taking a leading position in Saudi Arabia’s business opportunities is on the table with officials planning to privatize four sectors this year, including Saline Water Conversion Corp., a power generation company under Saudi Electricity Co., grain silos and sports clubs."



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Saudi Aramco's Only IPO Foray Provides a Cautionary Tale - Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco's Only IPO Foray Provides a Cautionary Tale - Bloomberg:

"The refinery two hours by car north of Mecca is easily overlooked in the Saudi Aramco colossus. But it offers a bonus: a window into one of the world’s most secretive businesses. Since the Saudi state-owned oil giant sold shares in Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. in 2008, the facility has provided a peek into a small corner of its operations. With few other clues available as Saudi Arabia prepares a massive initial public offering of as much as 5 percent of Aramco for next year, investors are scrutinizing the refinery for insights into the parent company itself. The picture at PetroRabigh isn’t promising: a falling share price, mounting losses and troubled operations. Perhaps more importantly, the plant’s struggles pierce a key narrative that Aramco has built about itself: best-in-class installations, engineering prowess and superior employees. Yet for all the challenges at PetroRabigh, investors are likely to take them in stride."



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